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The Halloween Man by Douglas Clegg

The Halloween Man (edition 1998)

by Douglas Clegg

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1194149,400 (3.3)4
Title:The Halloween Man
Authors:Douglas Clegg
Info:Leisure Books (1998), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Halloween Man by Douglas Clegg


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This book took a while to get going. In the end, it is a story of good vs. evil and supernatural terror. The book flashes between the past and the present: Stony's life as a teenager and then his life as an adult trying to make things right. Some pretty dreadful things happen and this book is pretty gory.

I finished this about a week ago, and unfortunately, I can't think of much else to say..
I like it okay, but I wasn't thrilled.
  Jadedog13 | Mar 10, 2017 |
My first Douglas Clegg book will not be my last. From this first experience I can say that he is quite a talented author. He told an exciting and complex story that was exceptionally well written.

Stony Crawford is on the road with a kidnapped child messiah. As he travels he remembers events from his own childhood in the New England town of Stonehaven. The Halloween Man is an ambitious horror tale that is not easy to sum up without including spoilers. I can say that it has very little to do with Halloween. If you are looking for a book to read in the last weeks of October that deals with harvest time, pumpkins and trick-or-treaters, this is not it. At its heart it is a tale of Satanism and black magic. That isn't entirely accurate, but close enough to give a spoiler-less idea for potential readers, I hope.

He was maybe a bit too ambitious with his story. It came off as muddled. I was impressed with the book while I was reading it but (until the end) it wasn't a book I would eagerly anticipate picking up again. I never felt... connected to it.

I was very impressed with Clegg's writing, but it would tend to get too lyrical at times. This was a problem for me especially at the beginning of the book. Doug throws you into the story as it is already underway. This setup can work very well, making the reader immediately feel unsafe and out of his depth. But a confused story coupled with overly ambiguous writing made the beginning of the book feel a bit like a chore.

He does a decent job of describing the town of Stonehaven, but the book was missing a real sense of time and place. It could be that I was extra sensitive, because I've just recently reread Stephen King's It and The Tommyknockers, two books that create completely detailed and believable New England towns. The Halloween Man's Stonehaven came off as much sketchier. I never got the sense of verisimilitude that the book wanted me to have.

Still, I did enjoy the book overall. As the story progressed I was drawn into it and was excited to see where it would go. I would have no problem suggesting Douglas Clegg to an interested reader, but I get the feeling this book probably isn't the place to start. ( )
3 vote jseger9000 | Oct 24, 2010 |
A mess but with some good moments. A deeply introspective plot and an amorphous story line weaken the book; I got the feeling that he had one really good legend (told beautifully, by the way) and worked a book around it (or several- Rosemary’s Baby, Harvest Home, Pumpkin Head, Salem’s Lot, The Outsiders), not having a clear idea on when to stop. Several of the characters also quickly changed their minds about things to alter the story line, with no character definition given to explain that they might act this way.

I’ve read reviews on his other books which are supposed to be tighter, but reviews on horror novels can be unreliable; I’ll give him another try because there were some really clear, interesting, and frightening pages in it.
1 vote SomeGuyInVirginia | Jun 30, 2010 |
THE HALLOWEEN MAN is a tale, broad in scope, that meditates on the duality of evil vs good. It's epic in it's attempt to pull together a myriad of characters, histories of people and places and consequences. It is a tale of a town, Stonehaven, and its mysteries. It's a tale of Stony Crawford's life and what happened to him at age 15 and what was let loose. It's how he deals with what he is and what he will, eventually, become. It's about love. It's about good and it's about evil. But above all, it is a great success. Stonehaven, like most towns, has secrets. But these are old secrets, even ancient. One man, Alan Fairclough, hunts out a myth...but finds it to be true. A weaver (or "spinner")of tall tales, Nora Chance, tries to tell Stony the truth about him and his heritage. She also spins on about The Halloween Man and his place in the world, past and present. But Stony is the main point of this novel. His travels, his actions and his ultimate honesty with himself and those like him.
1 vote tanthonyam | Mar 27, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0843944390, Mass Market Paperback)

Horror fiction need not necessarily have original ideas--most of its ideas are as old as the hills--but it's a treat when a writer like Douglas Clegg comes along, with the ability to look at the old ideas in new ways. In The Children's Hour Clegg reinvented the vampire legend. In The Halloween Man Clegg reinvents devil worship.

The plot of this novel is so complex and multifaceted, it's not easy to summarize, but it boils down to two narratives about two points in time. The protagonist, Stony Crawford, is a 15-year-old man (not a boy) in love with a dark-haired beauty named Lourdes Maria. Their surprisingly deep romance unfolds against the backdrop of a peculiar small town on the rugged coast of Connecticut. After a 12-year absence, Stony returns to this town bringing with him a young boy whom he kidnapped from a religious compound in Texas. Thanks to Clegg's skillful interlacing of the two narratives, when the life of 15-year-old Stony climaxes, so does that of 27-year-old Stony. The crux of both stories is a powerful being of "divine evil" and "Azriel Light"--perhaps a demon, perhaps simply a creature like any other.

Clegg's characters are well realized and fascinating, and the story is richly steeped in history. The Halloween Man is a stunning horror novel, written with a degree of conviction that is rare these days. --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:31 -0400)

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